Diego Maradona

Messi has none of Maradona's passion, but Ronaldo does, says Jesus

The current Benfica head coach belies the late, great Maradona to be the greatest player of all time

12:41pm on Tuesday 1st December 2020
Martin Macdonald

Lionel Messi lacks the passion for football that Diego Maradona had, unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Jorge Jesus.

Last week the football world went into mourning after the news emerged that Maradona had passed away aged 60.

The Argentine left a legacy of brilliance with many considering him to be the greatest football of all time.

Also involved in that discussion, at least in modern times, is Messi and Ronaldo, both of whom have taken goalscoring to an entirely new level within elite football.

Both have won multiple Champions League trophies and multiple Ballon d'Or honours, but so far that career-defining World Cup victory has eluded both.

For Jesus, he thinks both lack the passion of Maradona, though Ronaldo has more than Messi.

“Today, among the best two in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo has a little of that (what Maradona had). Messi has nothing. He doesn't have any passion,” the Benfica boss said this week.

“Messi is a great player. But we're talking about life and feelings, having passion for the game and for football. I think Maradona was above anyone in that regard.”

Jesus believes that Pele, not Messi or Ronaldo, is up there with Maradona as the greatest ever.

“Maradona was the best player ever, along with Pele," the Portuguese boss continued.

Maradona passed away aged 60 last week

“Pele's still here, he's alive. Maradona was greater, not just because he was a genius, but because of how he showed it. That makes the difference for me.

“He was absolutely world-class, but he had a passion for the game, he was born to be a footballer, he was born with everything.

“It was not a product of work, he was born like that. But he still loved having the ball.”

The defining moment of Maradona's career came at the 1986 World Cup when he put in a string of talismanic performances to haul Argentine to victory in Mexico.

Since his passing, tributes have flooded in from his friends, peers, and other footballing figures.

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